Juan Bolivar Soto Essay

Mr. Budhram
Pre-AP World Literature
February 2017
Dealing with New Beginnings
Lian Hearn is an Australian author, captivated by the Japanese culture since very young. Mesmerized by the diverse traditions, Hearn had the opportunity to learn many aspects of the inspiring civilization once she visited Japan in 1993. Throughout her book, “Across the Nightingale Floor”, she portrays these sceneries and traditions using several literal devices to describe the events and detail fictional images of the situations taking place for the reader. Surviving a mass murder upon your village is not an easy task, starting all over again? Even harder. In the narrative the main character, Takeo, unravels his fear yet determination to become the new man he had to befit, through grief and sorrow, bravery is shown as well as ambition to pursue greatness among the Otori and avenge the murders upon his past domain.
The story begins with the protagonist Tomasu, later known as Takeo, whom develops heightened senses of hearing and alternate powers after losing his due to the discriminating persecution justified by the corrupt ways of lord Ida Sadamu. His domain being the most powerful of the 3 clans: Ida, Otori and Noguchi, gains power through merciless conquest, battles and torments. Takeo emotionally unstable, and full of sorrow is saved by Lord Otori whom finds him disoriented in the woods running from Ida’s men those which pursued him from causing their lord to fall off his horse. Refusing to let go of the fugitive Otori takes Tomasu in giving him the chance to start a new life as a member of the Otori Clan, change his name and beliefs with the opportunity to avenge his family.
Lian Hearn, the author of the book, uses imagery to represent the scenery and acute hearing Takeo experiences during the making of his new unraveled self. During the travel to the Hagi Village where the Otori live, they pass through other towns and mountains where Takeo describes the scenery through imagery and metaphorical analysis. This is implemented as a way of appealing to our senses while in detail describing the newfound abilities he discovers and tests during his stay in each one of the villages. Through the story, Takeo is able to hear sounds such as water falling from far away, birds chirping high up in the sky, the clapping of fish swimming on the surface of lakes miles away and most accurately the voice of servants and maid’s rooms away yet with the same quality as if they were whispering their conversations right onto the sides of his ears.

The author also applies personification to describe the powers Takeo obtains after his encounter with Lord Ida “The murmur of a stream sounded to me like the voice of the water spirit, and every time a fox barked or an owl hooted I came awake, my pulse racing.” This personification is used to describe Takeo’s perception of sounds at night while he tries to sleep but mercilessly fails due to the many sounds he’s attaining all at once. They don’t allow him to focus, the smallest of whispers jolt him up, disallowing him to sleep or take a break. This makes Takeo nervous, for he had never heard of such thing before yet didn’t speak on it so others wouldnt deem him as crazy or a disappointment to Lord Otori. He already owed him enough and couldn’t risk the chance of embarrassing his savior over irrational assumptions. Because of this he chooses to keep it to himself and maintain his behavior at its best alongside Lord Otori.
Lian Hearn also uses Metaphors to describe the relationship between Takeo and Lord Otori, the character compares the situation to that of a Heron hunting for fish “Otori Shigeru was the heron, and I was the little wriggling thing he had scooped up, plunging down the mountain into my world and swooping away again” through this metaphor the character explains how Otori protected him, took him under his wing without asking for anything but appreciation, swooping him away from everything he has ever known into a strange world he has yet to get accustomed to. It all happens very quickly like heron’s prey on their fish, yet just when they least expect it, grabs and takes it to keep it in his hollow peak, with patience, ambition, and expecting absolutely nothing in return.
Overall, the story focuses on the teachings of adjusting to new beginnings, through this example portrayed among Takeo’s sudden change and situations. We are presented with the up and downs, the thoughts of relief yet the saddening memories of how things used to be. It’s hard adjusting to change especially when done so drastically but it’s something in the story we are able to perceive completely. New beginnings may not mean easy roads, but they’re not necessarily horrible if you keep an open mind to the possibilities it can offer.
Work Cited
Hearn, Lian. Across the Nightingale Floor. New York: Riverhead, 2002.

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